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Nike shares on pace to hit record high as outlook tops expectations


The Nike logo is seen on the Nike store on February 22, 2021 in New York City.

John Smith | Corbis News | Getty Images

Nike shares surged more than 13% Friday morning, on pace to open at a record high, after the sneaker maker forecast full-year sales topping $50 billion as its North American business rebounds from the lows of the pandemic.

And in Greater China sales appear to be improving, with Nike management saying the company is confident about its ability to regain trust with customers there, amid threats to boycott Western brands over their comments expressing concern about alleged forced labor in Xinjiang.

Globally, Nike is seeing shoppers splurge on new sneakers and fashion-forward sweat suits to wear as more people begin to socialize again. The company’s Jordan brand has been a particular bright spot.

Nike, which has a market cap of more than $211 billion, saw its stock hit an all-time high of $147.95 on Dec. 21.

Following Nike’s upbeat fiscal fourth-quarter results on Thursday afternoon, Cowen & Co. analyst John Kernan raised his price target to $181 from $145.

Kernan said he sees a path for Nike’s market cap to one day surpass $300 billion.

“Management’s confidence is hitting an inflection and Q4 results indicate the digitally driven acceleration in the financial model,” he said in a note to clients.

According to Telsey Advisory Group analyst Cristina Fernández, Nike is benefiting from its closer connections with customers through its membership program, higher full price selling, greater use of data and a smarter wholesale model with strong partners like Foot Locker.

Telsey raised its price target on Nike shares to $180 from $160.

“The strong momentum in Nike’s brand globally is more than offsetting pressure in China and supply chain constraints,” Fernandez said in a note to clients.

At least 12 brokerages have already raised their price targets on Nike shares, following the company’s fiscal fourth-quarter release.

According to FactSet, the median target price of analysts who cover the company is now $176.90.


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